Oxford study links preventing PTSD to playing Tetris

Militaries around the world that been investing heavily in research to figure out how to treat the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder that affects soldiers. A team of researchers at Oxford University have found a novel and interesting way that they claim treats post-traumatic stress. The researchers have determined that some soldiers can be treated simply by playing Tetris.

Tetris has been around for many years and is one of the most popular games out there. The game involves filling in rows on the screen using various different shaped pieces. The researchers claim that playing the game can prevent PTSD flashbacks. The condition is estimated to fact as much as 25% of all soldiers that come home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The study was presented last week at the British Psychology Society Annual Conference and was led by a Doctor Emily Holmes from Oxford University. Holmes concluded in the study that when the soldiers play the game soon after exposure to trauma, Tetris served as what she calls a "cognitive vaccine" that is able to "inoculate against the buildup flashbacks." She believes that the process of playing Tetris places demands on the brain that interferes with its ability to form and retain traumatic memories.

[via Wired]